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The fine print.

Paying National Insurance for a while won’t be enough to get the full state pension. In effect you need to have paid it for 90 per cent of the years between 16 and state retirement age to qualify. At the moment state retirement age is 65 for men and 60 for women so men need a payment record of at least 44 years and women 39 years. If your NI contribution record is for less than this then your state pension entitlement will be scaled back – it falls to zero if you have been paying NI contributions for less than 25 per cent of your so-called qualifying years.